Thousands gather as Liz Truss effigy with laughing lettuce burnt on Bonfire Night

Effigies of Matt Hancock and Dominic Cummings have been burnt in past years

Thomas Kingsley
Sunday 06 November 2022 16:05 GMT
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Liz Truss effigy made for Guy Fawkes night by Edenbridge Bonfire Society

Thousands gathered to burn an effigy of Liz Truss on Bonfire Night to mark the failed 1605 plan to blow up Parliament.

Britons carried torches in the rain in Lewes, East Sussex to watch the controversial but popular event which saw an effigy of the former Tory leader go up in flames.

Last year, up to 30,000 people attended the event, which had a Covid theme. Effigies of Dominic Cummings, former Health Secretary Matt Hancock and a masked Guy Fawkes went up in flames.

The 11-metre-high effigy clutched a cardboard box containing a leaver's card and a copy of the Guinness Book of Records in reference to her record as the shortest-serving prime minister.

It also contained a copy of her mini-Budget, a Make Britain Great Again red cap, a T-shirt with the slogan “I am a fighter, not a quitter”, and a cheque for £115,00 in reference to the perpetual funding provided to ex-prime ministers.

The box itself had a big upside-down U with the words “This Way Up” the wrong way up and the words “Oh Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear Packaging Ltd” referencing the words of King Charles to Truss as she arrived to meet him.

The lettuce on her shoulder, which is crying with laughter, is referring to a livestream of a lettuce run by the Daily Star which suggested the vegetable would last longer than Ms Truss did in office.

Thousands gathered to watch the bonfire (PA)

The vegetable, known as the Liz Lettuce, did outlast the UK’s third female prime minister erupting in global shame for Ms Truss as more than 20,000 people watched the newspaper’s live stream which played party music and displayed disco lights after she announced her resignation.

The Edenbridge guy has become a highlight of the bonfire season with previous public figures put up for ridicule including John Bercow, Boris Johnson, Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins, Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, both of the Blairs, Katie Price, Wayne Rooney, Lance Armstrong, Anne Robinson, and Saddam Hussein.

The Edenbridge Bonfire Society celebrity guy, Liz Truss, is set on fire in Edenbridge (PA)

The society, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to raise more than £5,000 for local charities, has been in existence for more than 90 years and even featured on Pathe News clips dating back to the 1950s. Winston Churchill is one of several famous figures to have opened the Kent town’s bonfire night celebrations.

Liz Truss’ short premiership was characterised by U-turns, market mayhem and chaos. Her mini-Budget alongside chancellor and long-time friend Kwasi Kwarteng resulted in the pound crashing to its lowest level against the dollar in history, while mortgage rates shot up for homeowners across the country. She ended up sacking her Mr Kwarteng before appointing Jeremy Hunt who went on the reverse most of the Budget.

The Liz Lettuce hangs on the fire starts (PA)

She later apologised for “mistakes” made in the Budget before more drama landed on her doorstep when her home secretary Suella Braverman resigned after sending sensitive documents to her personal email.

Hanging on by a thread, Ms Truss faced more misery following claims that Tory whips had physically manhandled and bullied backbenchers into backing the prime minister’s administration. Those claims were later confirmed to be unfounded.

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